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Nostalgia in a small telephone booth

(People's Daily Online)

14:01, April 11, 2013

Chen Qun, 14, calls his grandmother in hometown - Handan of Hebei in a phone kiosk near Sidaokou area in Beijing. He came to Beijing with his parents when he was 3. Now his parents sell fruits at a market. He has begun the first year in a junior high school. His grandmother left in hometown doesn't allow him to call her often. She is afraid that too much emotion will affect his grandson's study. (Photo/China Youth Daily)

Edited and translated by Huang Jin, People's Daily Online

It was a cold night in Beijing in March. Zhao Zhengyu, a welder, entered into a public phone box to talk to his mother. It was her mother's 67th birthday. He tried four times, but failed to connect her. It's his first time to pick up the phone just for saying happy birthday to his mother.

Wang shaomo and his wife are both green workers in Beijing. Every Friday or Saturday, they come to a public phone booth near Wenhui Bridge of Xizhenmen area in Beijing to talk with their daughter who studies in six grade in a primary school in Linbao of Henan - their hometown. The conversation lasts about 30 minutes. It has never been interrupted even at coldest time.

Now almost everyone has a mobile phone. The public phone box has gradually faded out of sight. Some young people don't even know how to use an IC telephone card.

However when night comes, some people still stop occasionally at the phone boxes. Most of them are strangers in the city and come to make a long-distance call. Maybe only in those small boxes, they can feel safe and relaxed to express their nostalgia...

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